Colourful retreat for scientists

Sharon McHugh
Saturday 17 Apr 2010

Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory expands with Centerbrook Architects

Tucked into the hillside of a quaint whaling village in Long Island, New York is Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, a private research and education institute at the forefront of cancer research, neuroscience, human genetics and quantitative biology. Initially housed in the historic seaport architecture of a former whaling village of which it is a part, the Institute’s work has grown through the years, necessitating the construction of new buildings.

The latest of such buildings is the recently completed Hillside Campus designed by Connecticut-based Centerbrook Architects, which will expand the institute’s research capabilities by 40 percent. The $100 million complex consists of six laboratory buildings organized around a multilevel courtyard that forms a grand entrance and leads to a future hilltop campus. Stairways and plazas between the laboratories provide opportunities for informal meetings and conversations. The buildings are connected internally on their lower levels to facilitate communication and interaction among the scientists.

Explaining why a visitor might have trouble identifying the new 100,000 square foot campus, a New York Times reviewer wrote of the colorful complex, “An architectural sleight of hand has disguised the new labs as a miniature Bavarian hilltop villages”, a feat the architects say that the neighbors also appreciate.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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